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Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic National Convention - Day 1, Sunday, August 24th (12:13 am MT - still Sunday night to me) - The Excitement Begins

Ann-Marie Luciano Bio

Who said that we weren't unified? It's funny how the media makes a lot of mountains out of molehills. Sure, I heard a story about a few Hillary supporters who were protesting near the Pepsi center. But every Hillary delegate I meet, both from Maryland and from other states, has already decided to put their support behind Obama. Maybe I'm not meeting the same people the media meets, but the people I meet are all singing the same tune: four more years of Bush with McSame would be a travesty. Barack Obama truly brings hope that we can finally make this country into what it should be - a place where the American Dream is again possible.

Instead of having individual state delegation parties, the DNC changed its mind and decided (maybe in the spirit of unity) to hold an "All-Delegate" Celebration, the theme of which was to recognize and benefit Katrina relief organizations. Some of us from Western Maryland stayed for a little while to listen to the great jazz and soul music - the musicians sang their hearts out. The food (which was all free - I was very excited) was Cajun-themed, with tons of shrimp and creole soup (with big chunks of craw fish in it - yum). We then decided to try to crash the Blue Dog Democrat party, but after six of us driving around in a small Ford Focus for a half hour to find the venue, we finally changed our minds when arrived and found out that the party started an hour after Congressman Cummings' speech and had a price tag of $22 a head. No thanks.

So, we headed back to the Renaissance Denver for the Maryland Welcome Reception. Congressman Cummings was the host, and he gave another enthusiastic speech about this election being bigger than Barack Obama and about how hard we need to work in the next 71+ days to ensure Barack Obama's victory.

Many Maryland politicians were there to celebrate and welcome the delegation, including Governor Martin O'Malley, Lieutenant Governor Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Kweisi Mfume, and many other Maryland delegates and party leaders. A few photos of my encounters with some of these folks can be seen here.

We share the same hotel with the Massachusetts delegation (Spike Lee is also staying here - he entered the hotel as we left for the party this evening), so Senator Kerry came down to say a few quick words to the Maryland delegation, which he described as his "second favorite delegation." I had the opportunity to meet Senator Kerry and chat with him for a little while, which was the thrill of the night for me (of course my camera didn't work for that part).

The mood here is excited, energized and eager. Tomorrow we have our first official delegation morning breakfast meeting, and then we're off to individual constituency meetings and speaker events throughout the day, with the Convention starting around 4pm local time. More to come!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Excited to hear about your experience! As a Democrat, what does that "American Dream" mean to you?